Thursday, June 28, 2007
The Hidden Benefits of a Manuel Villar-Led Senate
I believe that a Manuel Villar-led senate is more beneficial for the opposition than an Aquilino Pimentel presidency. Not that I believe in Villar nor do I hate Pimentel. I did not even vote for him in the recent elections. On the other hand, I would really want to see an oppositionist bang the gavel in the Upper House.
In order to analyze the mind of the current senate president, you need to think like him – a shrewd businessman. However, if you desire to keep in step or go ahead of him, then you need to counter think his moves.
It is still 2007 but any astute politician is planning ahead. Ahead refers to 2010, the presidential elections. Unless Conrado De Quiros’ theory comes true in which he posited that the lasting legacy of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is literally herself. Constitutional changes aside, the path to power in the next big electoral contest is paved for the opposition. There are so many presidentiables in the opposing side than those in the administration group. Presidentiables that are deemed solid oppositionists are Loren Legarda, Panfilo Lacson, Francis Escudero, and even Jejomar Binay. Those that are considered soft oppositionists are Manuel Roxas III and Manuel Villar. The best bet of the administration is Noli De Castro, although I have heard rumors that he will not run for higher office even if he is a heartbeat away from the plum post. Unless Prospero Pichay runs…
This scenario poses a problem. The present administration controls the majority of local positions through the Lakas and Kampi parties. Simply put, who will control the so-called political machinery? Even if the so-called ‘command vote’ sputtered for Team Unity in the last elections, it will still serve a huge edge for any presidential candidate.
How the leadership of the senate get in the convoluted picture? Analyze the following situations.
First scenario: Senate President Manuel Villar
He needs votes from the ranks of the opposition in order to retain his position. This will not take anything away from the opposition since Villar is identified with. He is technically an oppositionist. We should remember that it was the vote of the Estradas that formalized his senate leadership. In other words, Villar kept his promise and sided with the opposition. Unless it is but superficial, the man keeps his promises. If he remains as senate president, he does not have any reason to jump over the administration fence. It will be a bad move for his part. If you want to become president, you should not be doing bad moves in the next three years.
Second scenario: Senate President Aquilino Pimentel
This means that Villar loses in which case, he may join the administration. It will still leave a bad taste but not as much compared to the first scenario. However, this will be a serious blow to the opposition. Although, it is rather certain that most of the presidentiables will come from their forces, they need to present a united front in the coming days. The opposition needs to be united. Sure, a Pimentel victory demonstrates unity but the aftermath may be dangerous. At this point, it is rather unthinkable for Pimentel to join the administration, so sacrifice is an option. If Villar decides to give way, then it is better for the opposition and for his presidential chances.
Third scenario: Senate President Lito Lapid
The opposition could still come up with a secret balloting and other means to consolidate their power but they need to think and rethink their decision. The senate presidency issue is not as simple as many would like to believe.
It is rather obvious that the choice is not a moral. Machiavellian is the more appropriate description. But I did warn you. You have to think like a shrewd businessman.